BERNE – IIHF President René Fasel and General Secretary Horst Lichtner met with the international media prior to the Russia - Switzerland game at PostFinance Arena. The topics asked covered three main points: the ongoing tournament, the future of the Champions Hockey League, and the outdoor game in the 2010 World Championship in Germany.
Just before the tournament, Mr Fasel was quoted as criticizing the World Championship arenas, something he now wanted to clarify.
“Maybe the timing [of my comments] wasn’t the optimal, but everybody here knows that the Swiss arenas do need some 'adjustment'. However, I was never specificially talking about the World Championship arenas,” Fasel said.
“Here in Berne, the arena is great for fans. SC Bern has most spectators in Europe, and the atmosphere in the last two World Championship games was perfect. It’s just that arenas in elsewhere in Europe have a better standard,” he added.
All in all, Fasel was happy with the World Championship.
“We even had over ten thousand fans in the game between Russia and France, something we didn’t expect. Let’s focus on the tournament, the games, and the show,” he said.
Next year, the opening game of the World Championship will be played on a unique arena, the Gelsenkirchen football stadium.
“It’s a special feeling to play in there. What the Germans are organizing there is fantastic and it’ll give new impulses to German hockey,” Fasel said.